If you’re getting ready to take on a do-it-yourself plumbing project, you may be wondering if you have everything you need to do the job right. Here are some tips directly from the experts to help you prepare to tackle your next DIY plumbing project.
Before you start any project, it’s important to have a good overall understanding of the system you’re working with. Take the time to really familiarize yourself with the entire plumbing system, and not just the area in which you’ll be working. Make sure you know where individual shut-offs are located, as well as the main shut-off. Check to see what materials are used throughout the system, so you can be sure to have the right parts. Evaluate the area where you’ll need to make repairs to ensure you have enough room to work, and that you won’t be interfering with any other systems such as HVAC or electrical.
Documenting everything with photos before you take it apart is also a great habit to get into. If you have photos of everything then you can refer back to those pictures as you’re reassembling the system. It can also help to label all of the pieces that you take apart, especially if you’re planning to reuse any or all of them. It’s easy for parts and pieces to get shuffled around or lost during a repair project, so knowing exactly which piece is missing or broken can save a lot of time and frustration.
Good planning, organization, and doing plenty of research before you begin will help ensure that your upcoming DIY plumbing project proceeds smoothly with fewer surprises.
Depending on the difficulty of your particular project, there may be a lot of different techniques you need to employ during any type of plumbing repair. Using the correct techniques for the correct repairs is key to successfully completing plumbing projects that function correctly and are long-lasting.
Tightening connections in the proper way is a major component of plumbing repair. For example, when tightening two hex fittings together, you need to use two wrenches, one on each fitting, to ensure that both are tightened correctly. Otherwise, you run the risk of over-tightening one and under-tightening the other. Over-tightening connections can lead to broken fittings and leaks. Similarly, connections that aren’t tight enough can also create leaks because they lack a proper seal.
Soldering copper pipes is a skill commonly required for plumbing projects. While soldering isn’t difficult, per se, there is a lot of technique involved in getting it done correctly. For example, attempting to solder a pipe with any water in the line will generate steam, which creates pin-holes in the solder. This will result in a leak, and the entire process will have to be redone.
Another common DIY soldering mistake is to heat the solder, instead of the copper. Really though, the copper needs to be heated to a temperature that melts the solder, so it will flow into the joint and seal it.
Using proper soldering techniques will ensure your plumbing repair project is watertight and leak-free when you’re finished.
Did you know that Teflon tape must be wrapped clockwise around threads so that it doesn’t unwind as you tighten the fitting? If the tape unwinds, it won’t embed in the threads and seal the fitting, which defeats the purpose of using the tape.
Though they often seem like tiny details, employing proper techniques when making plumbing repairs can make all the difference in achieving a successful result.
Correct Tools and Parts
Just like using the right techniques for a plumbing repair project are essential to getting the job done right, so is having and using the right tools and parts for the job. It can be tempting to save money by trying to complete the project with the tools you have on-hand, or by reusing questionable parts. But not doing the job right can ultimately cost more in the long run, if the repairs don’t hold and you have to do the job again or repair even more damage the next time. So, whether you’re trying to fix a slow draining toilet or install an entire new bathroom, always use the right tools and parts for the job and your DIY project will be much more successful.
Trust the Professionals to Get It Right
If your “little” plumbing repair turns into a big project that feels out of reach for you to complete on your own, you may end up having to simply turn to the real professionals. Don’t worry. It’s not the first time they will get a call like yours, as DIY repairs very often end up going to the plumbing experts when something goes wrong. With time, you may end up becoming an expert yourself though. After all, everyone has to start somewhere.
partnered post • cc-licensed image by Clement127